Do you want to use the Dock the way it was meant to be used or do you want to fight it forever?
If you’re a lover, not a fighter, and ignoring one of the most useful organizational tools any OS has ever presented to ordinary users strikes you as a waste, drag your hard drive icon into the right side of the dock and leave it there. Forever. Apple should ship all Macs this way, by the way. Are you listening Cupertino?
With your hard drive now safely tucked in the Dock, just click and hold on the hard drive icon to get a hierarchical menu of everything on your Mac or click the hard drive icon once to open it up in a Finder window. Then you can turn off “Show hard disks on the desktop” in the Finder’s Preferences if you like. (If you are a long time Mac user, you may not be able to bring yourself to do this, so leave the hard drive icon on the desktop, too, if you can’t bear it not being there.) We know we can’t do it; our hard drive icons are all in the dock and on the desktop, too. We do have one machine without hard drives on the desktop. We’re slowly getting used to it and can see the day when we’d actually consider turning off the desktop hard drive icons! Oh, the humanity!
With you hard drive’s icon in the dock, it will always be accessible no matter what. And, for Steve’s sake, turn OFF Magnification in the Dock and make the Dock as small as possible – the text labels of the icons should be enough to identify the icons, if you can’t seem to remember which icon is which. Without magnification, it’s a lot easier to click a static icon than trying to click a moving target all day long. If, rather than fighting it, you embrace the Dock (Classic Mac users seem to have the most Dock issues) Mac OS X will seem a lot quicker and productive.
See the Mac OS X Dock in action and learn more about the Dock here.
MacDailyNews Note: This piece is a reworked article based on a piece from October 2002 and is posted today as a public service for all those still walking around with their overly-giant Mac OS X Docks empty of hard drive icons and set to maximum magnification.